The St. Malachi 5 miler has under gone some changes the past couple of years. For years it had a challenging uphill finish. However, last year there were some changes to the course and it became the most challenging 5 miler in the Cleveland area. It has bridges and multiple hills that will wipe you out and test your running abilities (especially since a lot of running in the Cleveland area is fairly flat). That being said, my Sunday morning run crew decided to run the course as a training run so that we would be familiar/prepared for the course.
The race started out just like we had saw on the map, however, just before the first mile it went slightly different that the map, no big deal. Shortly after it got back on track to what we had practiced, hit the turn around and was on the way back but then went a different way that what we had practiced again! Really took me off my A game AND made the course harder.
With that being said, before the race started I already had in my head that I wanted a PR (I secretly wanted to run 34:59 but didn’t tell anyone). My training and speedwork has gone extremely well this year and I knew the course (or so I thought). My plan was to run the first 4 miles hard (like really hard) and the last mile was supposed to be downhill so I was going to just coast to the end (because if I ran the first 4 miles hard I should be dying at the end of the race).
First 2 miles were 6:52 and 6:51. That was faster than my 5K average pace a few weeks ago! After that I just held on to a sub 7 pace as best I could. The course threw me a loop when we went down into the flats and I was cringing thinking which hill we could possibly come back up. The hill we came back up wasn’t horrible but as soon as you got to the top you turned and went over a bridge. Looking at my watch I knew I was close to a PR but definitely cutting it close.
Ran into Matty O at the top of the bridge and although I was struggling, seeing him took my mind off it (so positive and upbeat and an Ironman) and distracted me from my heavy breathing from going up that hill last hill. He tried to get a picture but I think I was running too fast so I ended up as a blur or something like that.
When I turned the corner off the bridge I thought I had a little farther to go and didn’t realize how close the finish was. That girl in the lime green shirt and I went back and forth the whole race but at the end of the race we sprinted it out and……she got me. Sooooooo I hugged her after the race.
Official Finish Time: 34:45 a 6:57 pace. Booyah! Personal Record by more than a minute.
I’d say that was the best part about this race but I also enjoyed getting to see everyone and catching up.
Oh and guess what???? Next race is…..Tomorrow!!!!! Yes I am a crazy runner person who runs back to back races and yes tomorrows race is hillier and farther. I mean If I didn’t run all these races what else would I blog about